Specialty Steel Works, Incorporated Announces CEO Leadership Transition

HAMMOND, Ind., Jan. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ – Specialty Steel Works Incorporated (“SSWI”) announced that its Board of Directors has appointed current President and COO Michael Salamon, as CEO and President effective today. Mr. Salamon will also become a member of the Board of Directors of SSWI.

Also effective today, Joel Hawthorne has stepped down as CEO. Mr. Hawthorne was appointed CEO as the Company emerged from bankruptcy in November, 2017. While CEO, he stabilized the business and incorporated changes that set the stage for the businesses to achieve their full potential.

Ben Santonelli, Chairman of SSWI said: “I want to thank Joel Hawthorne for his leadership in transitioning the Company following its emergence from bankruptcy. Joel positioned the Company for success by working to restore customer and investor confidence and inspiring employees to connect vision and ideas to drive strategy and create value for all stakeholders. We appreciate his leadership during this period of transition.”

Mr. Santonelli continued: “Mike Salamon is the right person to lead SSWI into the future. He understands our business and markets and has a proven ability to forge customer relationships and drive results. Salamon has led the effort to make the Company more customer centric, simplified its business model and improved its cost structure. Salamon will move the Company forward in a manner that allows the business to capitalize on opportunities presented in an ever changing and dynamic environment. The Board and I have great confidence in his ability to lead and inspire the next chapter of SSWI’s transformation and growth.”

Mr. Hawthorne noted: “It has been an honor and privilege to lead SSWI through this transition period. The Company’s strategy is on track, the management team is strong and the Company is poised for even greater success as it enters this next phase.”

Mr. Salamon commented: “Joel and I have worked together closely for two years. He is leaving SSWI having made a significant contribution to our evolution following emergence from bankruptcy. I look forward to building on the momentum he has created. I am honored to lead our company as its CEO and work with our senior leadership team and Board. Together we will continue to drive a positive safety culture, capitalize on value enhancing opportunities, and provide our customers with excellent service and the highest caliber products.”

About Specialty Steel Works, Incorporated

Specialty Steel Works Incorporated (“SSWI”), headquartered in Hammond, Indiana, is North America’s leading manufacturer and processor of value added specialized steel products including (i) high-quality engineered cold finished steel bars (“CFSB) and (ii) precision-tolerance, cold drawn seamless tubes. SSWI operates under three business units: (i) Niagara LaSalle Corporation, (ii) Corey Steel Company and (iii) Michigan Seamless Tube. Our specialty steel processing business is operated out of six strategically located production facilities in the Midwest with a combined annual capacity to produce 680,000 tons of CFSB and 55,000 tons of seamless tube. SSWI products comprise the broadest specialty steel offering in the industry and are engineered to meet specific customer demands for critical applications across diversified end markets.

Media Contact:
Kathleen Sullivan
708-431-3884
232242@email4pr.com
http://www.specialtysteelworks.com/

Specialty Steel Works, Incorporated Announces Leadership and Organizational Changes to Strengthen Commitment to Customer Focus and Operational Excellence

HAMMOND, Ind., Dec. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Specialty Steel Works Incorporated (“SSWI”) today announced leadership changes to drive enhancements to the customer experience and achieve operational excellence across every business segment. “As we execute our strategy to create a manufacturing platform that is best in class as North America’s leading manufacturer of innovative solutions of specialty steel products, we will continue to reshape the organization to deliver the most value for our customers and stakeholders,” said Joel Hawthorne, Chief Executive Officer of SSWI.

Building on the Company’s previously announced multi-million-dollar commitment to transform the Niagara LaSalle Hammond facility into the most modern bar-to-bar operation in North America, Ron Kostyo has been appointed General Manager Niagara LaSalle – Hammond. Ron has over 30 years of steel industry experience in a variety of increasingly responsible capacities. He began his career at Inland Steel (now Arcelor Mittal). While at Arcelor Mittal he worked in the capacity of Technology Manager and later as Division Manager of Steel Producing. At Severstal North America he worked as Division Manager of Steelmaking and later Vice President and General Manager of Operations. Most recently, at U.S. Steel he served as General Manager of Automotive Operations. Ron’s industry experience is further evidenced by the articles he has written and his participation in forums on various steelmaking subjects. Michael Salamon, SSWI President and Chief Operating Officer stated, “Ron is an industry veteran and a proven leader.  I am confident in his ability to continue our efforts to drive safety improvement, enhance operational capabilities, and strengthen Hammond’s position as the premier bar-to-bar operation in North America.”

To further advance the Company’s vision and strategy to become North America’s leading independent manufacturer of innovative solutions of specialty steel products, Brian Fudacz has been appointed General Manager – Quality Assurance & Customer Technical Services. In this newly created position, Brian will be responsible across the Company’s Cold Finish Steel Bar (“CFSB”) business segment for quality assurance, customer technical services, and continuous improvement. This position will focus on improved integration of important enterprise functions that create value for customers, drive engagement of every employee to enhance the customer experience, and facilitate execution of the SSWI strategy.  Since joining Niagara LaSalle in 1995, Brian has amassed CFSB experience in key sales, marketing and operations positions, most recently as the General Manager of the Hammond facility.  “In this role, Brian will be responsible for driving quality processes and continuous improvement across our CFSB business. His engineering background and his broad CFSB industry experience make him particularly well-suited for this position and these new responsibilities,” said Salamon. “The leadership changes we are announcing today will help us to build on our success and continue to achieve excellence in every aspect of our business,” Salamon added.

About Specialty Steel Works Incorporated
Specialty Steel Works Incorporated (“SSWI”), headquartered in Hammond, IN, is North America’s leading manufacturer and processor of value-added specialized steel products including high-quality engineered cold finish steel bars (“CFSB”) and precision-tolerance, cold drawn seamless tubes. SSWI operates under three wholly owned subsidiaries (i) Niagara LaSalle Corporation, (ii) Corey Steel Company and (iii) Michigan Seamless Tube. Our specialty steel processing business is operated out of six strategically located production facilities in the Midwest with a combined annual capacity to produce 680,000 tons of CFSB and up to 55,000 tons of seamless tube. SSWI’s products comprise the broadest specialty steel offering in the industry and are engineered to meet specific customer demands for critical applications across diversified end markets.

Media contact:
David Pryzbylski
206684@email4pr.com 
219-853-6109

SOURCE Specialty Steel Works Incorporated

Specialty Steel Works, Incorporated Announces Transformative Capital Investment

HAMMOND, Ind., Sept. 7, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Specialty Steel Works Incorporated (“SSWI”) today announced a major capital investment at its Niagara LaSalle Corporation Cold Finish Steel Bar (“CFSB”) facility in Hammond, Indiana. The multimillion dollar investment in new high-performance equipment and infrastructure will enhance the Hammond facility’s operating capabilities and make it the most modern bar-to-bar operation in North America. The Hammond facility processes cold finished steel bars in a wide range of sizes, shapes, grades, finishes and tolerances for a myriad of customer applications, predominately in the transportation, industrial equipment and agriculture markets.
Joel Hawthorne, Chief Executive Officer of SSWI said: “We continually look for innovative solutions to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our manufacturing platform to achieve high quality, low cost production and superior customer service. The multimillion dollar investment is transformative to our Company and is part of a strategy to build a sustainable portfolio of assets across the Company’s operational footprint. Our ability to find innovative solutions is a competitive advantage that helps position the Company for future growth.”
Michael Salamon, President and Chief Operating Officer of SSWI stated: “This investment demonstrates our commitment to leading edge processing and production efficiencies in order to always be in the best position to respond to our customers’ changing needs. Innovation and process automation move SSWI into a market leadership position and we will continue to look for ways to meet our customers’ stringent demands through enhancement of our processing capabilities, operational excellence and customer-centric culture.” Salamon also noted, “In conjunction with our industry-leading coil-to-bar operation at Corey Steel, this investment solidifies our position as the low cost, high quality provider of engineered specialty steel solutions in North America.”
The Hammond facility is the largest single site for cold drawn capacity in North America. The new equipment will be phased in over the next twelve months. This investment will enhance the long-term viability of this facility.
About Specialty Steel Works Incorporated
Specialty Steel Works Incorporated (“SSWI”), headquartered in Hammond, Indiana, is North America’s leading manufacturer and processor of value-added specialized steel products including high-quality, engineered cold finished steel bars (“CFSB”) and precision-tolerance, cold drawn seamless tubes. SSWI operates under three business units: (i) Niagara LaSalle Corporation, (ii) Corey Steel Company and (iii) Michigan Seamless Tube. Our specialty steel processing business is operated out of six strategically located production facilities in the Midwest with a combined annual capacity to produce 680,000 tons of CFSB and up to 55,000 tons of seamless tube. SSWI’s products comprise the broadest specialty steel offering in the industry and are engineered to meet specific customer demands for critical applications across diversified end markets.

Media Contact:

David Pryzbylski
305-613-6952
200927@email4pr.com
SOURCE Specialty Steel Works Incorporated

Optima Specialty Steel, Inc. completes financial restructuring and emerges from bankruptcy

November 15, 2017

Hammond, IN – Optima Specialty Steel, Inc. (together with its subsidiaries, collectively the “Company”) today announced that it has satisfied the conditions to effect its plan of reorganization, which was confirmed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on October 16, 2017, and has emerged from bankruptcy. The plan was sponsored by DDJ Capital Management, LLC (”DDJ”), investment manager to the Company’s largest creditor constituency.

In conjunction with its emergence from bankruptcy the Company has changed its name to Specialty Steel Works Incorporated (SSWI), leveraging the strength of SSWI as a leading North American manufacturer and processor of specialty steel products and aligning its corporate identity with its product lines and broad customer base. The Company will continue to provide the broadest specialty product offering in the industry through its four wholly-owned subsidiaries, Michigan Seamless Tube & Pipe, Niagara LaSalle Corporation, Corey Steel Company, and Kentucky Electric Steel.

The Company also announced the appointment of Joel Hawthorne as Chief Executive Officer. Hawthorne brings over 30 years of industry experience to his role at the Company, most recently having served as President and CEO of GrafTech International. During his 18 year career at GrafTech he held multiple executive positions, including serving as a member of the board. Prior to joining GrafTech, Hawthorne gained extensive steel industry experience in financial and strategic planning roles at LTV Corporation and Acme Metals Incorporated.

Jim Kime, Managing Director at DDJ and Chairman of SSWI said: “The Company is emerging from bankruptcy under new ownership and with a new name that signals our dedication to creating the best products and best customer and supplier relationships in the industry. As the Company enters a new chapter, we are confident that the appointment of Joel Hawthorne will be another source of strength for the revitalized business. Joel brings experience, leadership, and the ability to support continued success in the programs and products SSWI excels in, as well as the vision and experience to incorporate changes that will enable our existing businesses to achieve their full potential. Joel has a proven track record of executing vision and strategy and inspiring people to achieve excellence through teamwork; I am extremely confident in his ability to lead SSWI.”

Hawthorne said: “I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to lead SSWI in this next chapter. The SSWI team has emerged from bankruptcy with a new financial structure and is very well positioned to compete in the markets we serve. SSWI has a unique role in the industry as a result of its combined strengths as a leading manufacturer of specialty steel products and a leading niche player in the steel supply chain, together with its broad product offering across a variety of end markets and its diversified customer base. I look forward to working with the Company’s board of directors, the management team, and the employees of SSWI as we focus on providing commercial excellence for our customers, sustained profitability for our stakeholders, and building new and stronger relationships in our vendor and customer communities.” Hawthorne also noted, “As the Company emerges from bankruptcy with a new name and under new ownership, I want to assure customers that our commitment to superior quality and customer service is unwavering.”

Michael Salamon, President and COO of SSWI stated: “I want to express my appreciation and thanks to our employees for their hard work, dedication and ongoing support as we worked through the bankruptcy process. Their continued focus and dedication is what makes us a great company. I look forward to working closely with Joel on strategic initiatives that will benefit our customers, vendors, and employees as we move forward.”

For more information about Specialty Steel Works Incorporated’s emergence from bankruptcy, please visit: http://cases.gardencitygroup.com/oma/index.php

About Specialty Steel Works Incorporated

Specialty Steel Works Incorporated (“SSWI”), headquartered in Hammond, Indiana, is one of North America’s leading independent manufacturers of specialty steel products. Operating through its four wholly-owned subsidiaries, Michigan Seamless Tube, Niagara LaSalle Corporation, Corey Steel Company, and Kentucky Electric Steel, the organization leverages its technical expertise, skilled workforce and sophisticated equipment to produce highly engineered products, including seamless cold drawn pipe and tube, cold finished steel bars and flats and various SBQ and MBQ products.

About DDJ Capital Management, LLC

DDJ Capital Management is an institutional manager of high yield bond and loan strategies based in Waltham, Massachusetts. Since its inception in 1996, DDJ has sought to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns for its clients by adhering to a value-oriented, bottom-up, fundamental investment philosophy. DDJ currently manages over $7.5 billion in assets on behalf of corporate pension and public retirement funds, insurance companies, mutual fund sponsors and other domestic and foreign institutional investors. DDJ’s investment team consists of professionals highly specialized in the areas of credit research, legal analysis, bankruptcy law, portfolio management, trading, and business operational improvements. For more information, please visit www.ddjcap.com.